7 Rookie Mistakes To Avoid On Your First Disney Cruise

I've been dreaming of my next Disney Cruise, and while I feel pretty confident with the ins and outs by now, I find myself fielding lots of questions from would be cruisers. If you're thinking of heading out to see for the first time, check out these 7 Rookie Mistakes to avoid on your first Disney Cruise.

Set Sail With The Disney Cruise LineSet Sail With The Disney Cruise Line

Not Planning Ahead - To get the best rates available you need to book as soon as the dates open up. The closer you get to the cruise date and fewer rooms are available the more expensive it's going to be. Keep your eyes open about 18 months in advance of when you want to cruise. Once you are booked for your cruise, you'll also want to be sure an book your shore excursions ahead of time because space is limited.

Flying In The Same Day Your Cruise Starts - You've put a year or more into making this vacation happen, but what happens with your airline is out of your control. Be sure to fly in at least one day before your cruise departure date. There are several nice hotels at Port Canaveral, or make it a land/sea vacation and spend some time at Walt Disney World in the days before you sail.

Castaway Ray's Stingray Adventure BeachCastaway Ray's Stingray Adventure Beach

Not Having Your Paperwork In Order - While US closed loop cruises don't require you to travel with more than a birth certificate and government-issued photo ID, I highly recommend that you do. Read our previous article on why you should really get a passport.

Passing On The Specialty Restaurants - Food on the Disney Cruise Line is pretty darn good and the rotational dining makes for a fun and unique experience every night of your cruise. However " those traveling who are over 18 should not neglect the adults only dining experiences of Palo and Remy. Palo is my all time favorite Disney Restaurant, and Remy is a fine dining experience that is simply out of this world.

Palo Fine Dining RoomPalo Fine Dining Room

Packing Too Much - The rule of cruise packing is to pack what you think you need, and then remove half. Space is always at a premium in a stateroom, and though you will be able to stash your unpacked bags under the bed, there simply isn't a lot of room in most rooms. You may need an extra dress or a collared shirt and jacket for dining, but in general "Resort Casual" is the rule of the day. Guest laundry is available should you have the need.

Avoiding Other People - Your cruise experience will be greatly enhanced if you get to know your shipmates. Smile, be friendly, make eye contact, talk to the folks around you. You may even find friends that last a lifetime. I always find that signing up for the great enrichment programs Disney offers is a good way to get to know folks around you. Try out this grown-up mixology class.

Tori Muddling Her MojitoTori Muddling Her Mojito

Assuming Everything Is Included - While the Disney Cruise Line does an amazing job of being inclusive (I love that you don't pay an extra fee for soda) there are some things that are extra. Port Adventures, rentals on Castaway Cay, Enrichment Classes, Specialty Coffee, Alcohol, Packaged Snacks, SENSES Spa, and Crew Tips are a few of the things you need to plan on spending some extra money on to enjoy.

Most of all, relax and have fun! Just like on land, the Cast Members on the Disney Cruise Line are friendly and helpful. If you have questions about anything, just flag down the closets crewman and don't be afraid to ask. Now - go book your cruise!

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